Who am I is the question? The Buddha claimed there was no I. How can that be explained, I am here for all to see? No you only see my body you only hear my voice and feel my presence. So there is a physical person that exists. The physical body is made up of absorbed matter and all matter is subject to change. Our body is made up of atoms of matter and is always changing. The body is in flux impermanent not existing alone but part of a whole never ending cosmic soup.
There is also a mysterious mental, abstract person that no one sees. The explanation for this is, before this body existed there was no I. The moment the sense organs of touch, smell, hearing and sight became aware of the surrounding environment sensations were relayed, via the electro chemical nervous system to the brain. That started to form a personal mental idea of the world. The external experiences I encountered formed my individual memory and unique mental outlook. This is what I refer to as me and you refer to as him or her. This is only a convenient handle used to work with, an abstract reference used to distinguish one person from another. This leads us to a false conclusion that we have an unchanging soul or spirit and an arrogant ego that is hurt by criticism, craves complements and always wants to be superior.
There is a basic animal instinct to mate. The seed is sown genes passed down from forbearers and life starts anew. The embryo is nourished by nutrients, the fetus grows to maturity, then is born into the world with a living body of matter and genes, like a map to direct growth. The individual personality is then formed by sensory input. Experiences are either pleasant or distasteful forming our likes and dislikes. This is how an individual’s personality is formed. We are still nothing more than part of this entire ever changing cosmos.
Take away one vital part of the body and the electro chemical impulses to the brain stop and the I is at rest. The body breaks down to become part of the whole world. Like a computer with the power turned off or a candle blown out. The I that never really existed is no more. The record of our good or bad deeds is all that remains. All else is returned to the entire cosmic existence. Like a circle with no beginning or end, matter remains in a never ending circle of change. As for a creator of the whole infinite cosmos, that is unanswerable. Because a circle has no beginning or end and a creator would have to have a creator etcetera.
Lao Tzu is credited with saying “The Tao (or Dow) that can be explained is not the real Tao.” If we do not know we try to explain with a hypotheses based on existing knowledge. Knowledge has advanced so our ideas should have advanced past fables and myths.
Why are we here? We are here to learn. Our purpose can only be to promote good that benefit all. To live in peace and harmony and make the world a better place for all to share. As we are all a microscopic part of this cosmic soup, what nobler or wiser reason can there be than to leave behind a good example for future generations to build on.